Gone are the days when building applications, be it Hybrid Mobile Apps, Web Apps or Native Apps, was a seemingly daunting task – one that required hiring a development firm or onboarding additional staff capable of application development. Either way, it posed many challenges for the small business owner looking for digital transformation.
Hiring a development firm could involve significant expenditure and might be difficult if budgets are small. On the other hand, onboarding specialized staff for a singular function, like app development, comes with its share of logistical challenges, even if on a freelance or part-time basis.
Today, viable solutions for small businesses are many, the most noteworthy being do-it-yourself (DIY) coding platforms. Known in the technology world by the term hpaPaaS (High Productivity Application Platform-as-a-Service), these web-based services are easy to navigate and provide step-by-step instructions needed for a user to develop and launch a mobile app. hpaPaaS platforms are also referred to as rapid application development platforms, since they provide app builders with the tools to build enterprise applications rapidly and support a model-driven environment.
One of the most critical features of rapid application development platforms is “low code”.
A low code platform allows for applications to be built through a graphical user interface (GUI) and visual modelling techniques. This reduces the need for having to write actual code segments, hence giving it the name low code.
Software Development has gone visual. A low code platform like Neutrinos features a simple visual modelling interface, the highlight being a drag-and-drop designer, with access to all elements like data models, user interface, external systems, devices, etc. This makes it extremely easy to build complex UIs. The platform also allows the creation of extensions and widget libraries using JS, HTML and Node.js. With this, functions can be developed in tandem, and predefined prototyping techniques can be used to build apps.
With an easy to use, drag-and-drop integrated development environment (IDE), developers won’t be required to build the app from scratch. Designing UX, modelling data structures, defining the app flow or even connecting to external systems – low code platforms provide developers with a convenient, intuitive environment where they can visually develop all aspects of their enterprise app. The idea is to simplify application development for developers so that they can automate redundant tasks and spend time on more complex things like application logic, architecting, user experience, and other critical tasks. A Low code platform allows developers to Drag and Drop, Click and Scroll. And Voila! An app without seeing a single line of code.
With tools like drag-and-drop builder and pre-built apps, development has never been easier. Here are some of the many benefits of low code platforms with drag-and-drop models:
Easy to use: Mobile app development can happen in-house. Small businesses can use, customize and implement pre-designed templates with no special technical expertise. In the drag-and-drop method of development, pre-programmed modules can be added to the app with ease. These can be plugged in, moved around, or discarded with just a few clicks of a mouse.
Cost effective: Small businesses with limited budgets can also develop a functional mobile app. Although these apps may not have all features that a custom-designed app would possess, it would work well for businesses that only need the basics. Cost savings happens by doing away with the need for expensive specialized staff.
Time Sensitive: Such coding platforms equip professional developers to reduce coding time and create apps faster. Further, testing and implementation take minimal time, and changes are typically very easy to make within the system. This, in turn, decreases costs during the development, testing, and implementation phases of app development.
Drag-and-drop tools can also help in speeding up processes and generate early successes. As more businesses embrace cloud-based tools in their path towards digital transformation, drag-and-drop tools will grow in reliability and sophistication.